Should women lead today’s technological advances? I believe so. And here’s why.
According to The National Center for Women Information Technology, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held 25% of all computing occupations.
I believe the declining rate of women participating in technological advances are due to the pressure of societal norm that women are not perceived to take on male-dominated roles. The lack of promotion of leadership among women has also inhibits women from advancing toward a career in tech. Yet, women in the sciences have consistently shown that women have indeed excelled in STEM.
The underlying issue is due to the lack of promotion in leadership among women. Which makes sense, it’s difficult to promote leadership in a male-dominated field. Yet, leadership is crucial for retention of female workers and the advancement of their own career.
Here are 3 main reasons why leadership is vital for women in tech:
1) Leadership has proven to empower women to take more risks
- Risk taking is key for major business decisions. Which is vital for women to thrive in their own tech start ups. Between the ratio of male to female ratio, only 17% have a startup founder. Risk taking is part of entrepreneurship but many women feel ousted out or discouraged from their role.
2) Women will be able to inspire and educate other women to work in tech
- Mentorship is crucial – and the only way to attract more women into tech is to develop a ground base of the desire to educate young girls. If young girls notice that more women are indeed succeeding in tech, the more likely it will motivate young girls to continue their educational pursuits.
3) Being a leader helps develop self-esteem and confidence
- Lack of access to creativity would deter one’s ambition to further their career in tech. The promotion of leadership would allow women to create pathways to creativity and boost their self confidence. This would make women be more aware of the problems found in the workplace and be more active in solving problems.
How can we foster leadership? It starts with middle and high school education. We must encourage young female students to pursue STEM courses. Students and teachers should encourage girls to dive and explore their analytical skills. This would build confidence in girls to consider working in tech – because the sense of confidence in their skills was grounded throughout middle and high school. This would create pathways for women to go pursue computer related majors in college and beyond.
Leadership is internally built through the external forces of our society today. Society has the power to empower women to have successful careers within technology. I believe that innovation begins with diversity, and we should include workers from various genders, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Women of color, especially, have been largely underrepresented within innovation, but when we take a step back in how much women of color have made a impactful contribution in STEM throughout history. Indeed, we realize that leadership plays an important key role in the success of women.